Spring P2P Asks: What is Arts-Integrated Project's Legacy?Monday, June 19, 2017
“What is this project’s legacy to you?” Laura Reeder, (C3)2 curriculum coordinator, asked the classroom teachers, specialty teachers and teaching artist who recently gathered for the spring 2017 Peer-to-Peer (P2P) session. The full-day event, also known as a Community of Practice workshop, was held for the Grade 4 and Grade 5 teams on separate days. At each meeting, participants shared their latest arts integrated projects and discussed what they’d learned from their (C3)2 experience so far. Plans for the upcoming Summer Institute were also discussed.
“The research has shown that the creative work being done by teachers in their classrooms is changing the way they teach,” reported Ms. Reeder. “Today, I’d like you to share what you’ll keep from the work you've done.” One by one, the participants introduced themselves and shared the positive impact their arts-integrated projects had had on their teaching and their students (see box below). Many teachers emphasized the projects' positive impact on their English Language Learners (ELL) and students with learning issues.
What is the (C3)2 Project’s Legacy?
Teachers were asked to share what they will keep from the (C3)2 project experience. Here are some of the things they said…
“ The projects gave kids a sense of belonging. Everyone could express themselves artistically.”
“ Students took chances. There were no rules, no boundaries, no risks.”
“ Kids were enthusiastic about art projects.”
“Art brought humanity back into classroom.”
ELL students saw themselves differently during the art projects. Other students saw them differently, too.
Students were able to make connections without the teacher.
The projects broke barriers for me as a teacher
The projects reached all the kids. They hits all learning styles.
Students with learning issues soared.
The success experienced by students gave them confidence with academics
Students came out of their shells. They had an opportunity to be the star.
Afterwards, the participants met with their collaborative teams to create a PowerPoint presentation summarizing their spring project experience. Using the Pecha Kucha model, a format designed to keep presentations fast-paced and powerful, each team of classroom teachers, specialty teachers and a teaching artist created a presentation that told their project's story. “Don’t be afraid to include the ‘messy stuff,’” stressed Ms. Reeder, referring to the challenges that occurred during the projects.
The teachers and teaching artists then shared their Pecha Kuchas with the meeting participants. Ms. Reeder recorded the presentations. Here’s a Grade 5 project on “What Freedom Looks Like?”…
Beginning preparation for the 2017-18 school year projects was the focus of the afternoon session. “The coming year will be about teachers making choices, driving the projects a little more,” said Ms. Reeder. “The (C3)2 project was designed to give teachers and students an opportunity to make more choices during the final year. The intention is for teachers to see more growth in their competency and creativity. They will see themselves as creative people.”
To prepare for the next round of projects, Ms. Reeder and Loretta Corbisiero, (C3)2 project director, will lead the project’s Summer Institute later this month. Ms. Reeder noted that the three-day Institute will address:
What teachers want to accomplish with their future project planning
What teachers need help with (ie, time management, making choices, diverging from past practices) in order to continue to be creative after the grant ends.
What do local and regional cultural partners need to know in order to successfully collaborate with our schools. “During the Institute’s third day, cultural partners will learn from you—the teachers. Based on your project experiences, you will teach them how good learning happens,” noted Ms. Reeder.
There was also an opportunity for the (C3)2 team and the teaching artists to meet. The team and artists discussed their evolving roles for the grant’s final year.
In wrapping up the busy day and looking forward to the next year, Ms. Reeder stressed: “We have a responsibility to disseminate what we have learned from the (C3)2 project. We must start to think about what others—teachers, administrators, parents, students—can learn from us.”
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